Electric bikes are a relatively new type of bicycle and there are often many questions that come to mind when first learning about them. Here’s a round up of some of the top common questions about electric bikes.
#1 Where can I ride an electric bike?
Treat an electric bike just the same as a normal bike. You can ride an electric assisted bike anywhere you can ride your regular bike. Be it on the road commuting to work or at your local trail center, electric bikes & regular bikes are governed the same.
#2 Do I need a license to ride an electric bike on the road?
No not at all, again treat it the same as a regular bike. You will only ever need a license if you exceed the specified specification of EU law. All of e-bikeshop's electric bikes can be used anywhere without the need for a license.
#3 Does the electric bike recharge whilst I am pedaling?
No it does not. Some manufacturers do advertise that the bikes regenerate whilst braking or going down hill. To be honest this is mainly marketing talk, we looked into this a while back, you generally have to add resistance to generate extra energy, you also have to add weight to the bike for the regenerative components. The gains are minimal and not worth the extra cost / weight / resistance.
#4 How long does it take to recharge the battery?
All our electric bikes use lithium ion battery packs. These packs recharge very quickly compared to others on the market. In general a 400Wh pack will take about 3.5 hours to recharge 100% from flat. Interestingly the battery will actually charge approx 80% in about 1.5 hours, but the last 20% is set on a slower charge rate.
#5 How should I look after my battery?
Generally speaking as long as you don't leave your battery for long periods of time completely empty and you top the battery up after each ride, this is all you need to do.
#6 Should I completely drain the battery before charging?
On some cheaper bikes with different style cells, this is necessary. However all of our electric bikes feature high tech batteries, so this is not required. It is in fact, best to always top up our batteries, even if you have only travelled 10 miles, just top it up.
#7 Why should I ride electric bikes?
Electric bikes are many things to many people, some use them as a vital tool for commuting, saving fuel, cutting transport costs and time. Whilst some people enjoy recreational rides, where you can go out traveling all day without the aggravation of steep hills. On the other extreme we have hardcore mountain bikers using an electric bike to beat up lifts. Of course whatever you ride up you get to hurtle back down. Generally you can get a lot more use in a day and cover more ground on an electric bike. Remember with an eBike you get to do everything you are doing already but - Longer, harder & faster.
#8 Does it matter if the electronics get wet?
Generally speaking the electronic items on all of our electric bikes are sealed units, from the motor to battery to head unit. They are all weatherproof and have been designed for all purpose use i.e mountain biking, where occasionally there are deep puddles. Your eBike is expected to be able to handle this without any issues. If possible, try not to completely submerge your eBike. If you fall into a lake for example, make sure the bike is recovered quickly, along with yourself. Allow the bike to dry off before turning back on and returning to the trail.
#9 Will the electric bike arrive assembled?
Your bike will arrive 99% assembled (with any accessories you have added to the order, fitted to the eBike) and will be delivered in one of our specially designed boxes. Someone needs to be available to sign for the parcel. The box is rather large, our courier will help you carry it in, but they may not enter the property and carry up stairs for example. To fit the eBikes into our special boxes we have to turn the handlebars 90 degrees and remove the pedals. This are simple to re-fit once you have unpacked your bike. If you require assistance please email us and we will be happy to help.
#10 How often should I have my electric bike serviced?
Remember all of the components are regular cycle components, so you can pick up spares e.g inner tubes, tyres brake pads etc from any good cycle shop.
#11 How much does it cost to charge the battery?
In general it will cost $0.03 to $0.10 to charge an electric bike battery pack. This will depend on what your local electricity supplier charges.
#12 What is an Electric Bicycle or e-Bike?
This is a bicycle that can be powered both by human power and electrical power. The human power is exerted through the pedals like a normal bicycle and the electrical power is provided by an electric motor. The motor gets its electricity from a rechargeable battery. The battery is charged through a 240V mains or a 12V charger.
#13 What are the advantages of electric bicycles?
For some cyclists who are very fit relative to the distance that they need to travel or who are never in a hurry, there are no advantages. For the other 99% of the population, electric bicycles have many advantages: they make hills flat and flats like downhills, they get you there quicker, you can wear whatever you want and not sweat, you can carry more on an e-bike, you can ride further and faster, you'll have more control and confidence on the road, you'll use an e-bike more often, you'll have a big smile on your face... It's just a great, convenient, sustainable transport solution.
#14 Is riding electric bike cheating?
First of all, the purpose of cycling is to move yourself, not physical exertion. Otherwise shouldn't we just run everywhere? You'd get more exercise that way. Wear heavy shoes too.
#15 What is pedal assist mode and why is it necessary?
Pedal assist mode on electric bicycles means that the bicycle's electric motor only operates while you are pedalling. It is a great little innovation as it allows you to operate the bicycle's motor with your feet and therefore don't need to operate a throttle. This leaves your hands free to hold onto the handlebar properly, use the brakes etc. The other good thing about pedal assist mode is that riders can discipline themselves to always pedal, gaining more exercise and getting a longer range from the battery. However, in our opinion mandatory pedal assist is a mistake, it's an appropriate design choice that doesn't require legislation for you to take your pick of how you operate your e-bike. There are many reasons why a rider might want to operate the motor without pedalling. This includes a roundabout, when your pedals will hit the ground if you are pedalling while turning yet you still might need the motor to maintain the speed at which you entered the roundabout. You might also have an injured leg, a bad hip etc. Furthermore, pedal assist can catch riders by surprise by engaging the motor when they were not expecting it, such as taking off from a stop at a slow speed, for example because there is a pedestrian in front of you. Pedal assist might engage and accelerate you suddenly. It would have been much better to leave mandatory pedal assist out of all legislation as it is simply an unnecessary complication with no enhancement to safety.
#16 Do e-bikes need insurance, registration and drivers license
No. The same rules apply as for bicycles. You don't need rego, insurance or a drivers license to ride an electric bicycle. It's a no registration vehicle.
#17 I've lost my license for driving offences including drink driving. Can I ride an e-bike?
Yes, you can ride an electric bicycle in all cases, whether you have a license, lost your license or never have had a license. Naturally it remains an offence in all cases to ride an e-bike under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
#18 Can I pedal like on a normal bicycle or do I always have to use the electric motor?
You can definitely pedal as normal without the electric motor on. It will feel like a normal bicycle but heavier. Good quality electric bicycles still roll well, they're just heavier. The electric motor only kicks in from pedalling when you want it to. This is controlled in various ways, depending on the electric bicycle.
#19 Are e-bikes good for the environment?
Electric bicycles are very good for the environment. While Tasmania enjoys low-emission electricity, it is sometimes topped up by mainland electricity from fossil fuels. However, the fact is that electric bicycles use a tiny quantity of energy to move you around compared to a car, motorbike or even the train or bus. This is because bicycles are just such amazing and beautifully efficient machines. Did you know that no animal moves with as much energy efficiency as a human on a bicycle? So forget electric cars, electric bicycles are great for the environment not because they're electric, but because they're bicycles
#20 Do the lights run off the main battery on the e-bike?
In most cases yes and it's awesome. No more buying batteries, rechargers and all that for your lights or getting hassled by police for not having lights. They're nice and bright too.